Independent associations and foundations
The Prince Bernhard Cultural Foundation is the largest private cultural foundation in the Netherlands. It stimulates the conservation of nature and culture by supporting over 3 500 initiatives, individuals and projects every year. The VandenEnde Foundation was founded in 2001. Its focus is on stimulating cultural entrepreneurship and increasing the interest of young people in culture. It offers scholarships for talented young people, to enable them to further develop their opportunities. The VSB Fund provides funding for cultural projects that focus on the public and participants, stimulating the connection or interaction between art and people. The Turing Foundation focuses on, amongst other things, art, visual arts, classical music and Dutch poetry in particular. Fund 21 directs its funding towards projects that engages with either arts and culture, or with youths and society.
In the 1990s, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science drew up a code for the sponsors of cultural events, called the Culture Sponsor Code. In this code, various rules for a sponsor relationship are defined and the framework for sponsorship agreements is stipulated. The most important aspect of the code is that, in principle, the sponsor is not allowed to influence the actual content of the activity organised by its cultural public partner. Most large Dutch banks have their own departments dealing with cultural sponsorship.
Sponsorship spending in the Netherlands has been decreasing since 2010. In 2018, the total spending on sponsorship was EUR 760 million (a decrease of 11 percent compared to 2010). In 2018, 12.6 percent of the money spent through sponsorships in the Netherlands, was spent on arts and cultural heritage (Sponsor Monitor 2019).
The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science set up the Cultural Entrepreneurship Programme (2012- 2016). Cultural organisations and producers are supported in their entrepreneurial efforts in the form of advice, coaching and supervision to find alternative funding. The main aim is to reinforce entrepreneurship in the cultural sector among both organisations and makers. An important part of this policy is to encourage ‘giving to culture’. The government aims to support donations to the arts and culture with its Gift and Inheritance Tax Act (Geefwet) and donation campaign.
In 2009, the Dutch population gave approximately EUR 4.7 billion to good causes. About 10 percent of that amount, EUR 454 million, went to culture. In 2013, donations increased to nearly EUR 4.4 billion and approximately 284 million went to culture. In 2015, both figures increased: the Dutch population gave EUR 5.7 billion, and EUR 511 million went to culture (table 7.1). With the Gift and Inheritance Tax Act, which was implemented in the Netherlands on 1 January 1st 2012, the government hoped to encourage private individuals to make donations to cultural institutions by offering (additional) income tax benefits (see chapter 4.1.4).
Table 7.1: Private financial contributions to arts and culture in the period 2005-2013 (in EUR million)
|Total donations to culture||95||174||340||614||332||386||453||293||284||384|
|Percentage of donations to culture in all donations||7.0||8.5||9.6||6.9||6.5||7.4|
Bekkers, R., Th. Schuyt and B. Gouwenberg (eds.). 2017. Geven in Nederland 2017: huishoudens, nalatenschappen, fondsen, bedrijven, goede doelenloterijen en vrijwilligers. Amsterdam: Lenthe. The authors note that “for households and companies, these figures are estimates, and therefore it should be emphasised that because of the lack of a complete sampling frame, it is impossible to make generalisations for the entire population of capital funds and bequests” (own translation: 241).
The Netherlands has several lottery organisations that donate to culture. Most notably, these are the National Postcode Lottery and the Bank Giro Lottery.
Friends’ societies and volunteers
A growing number of subsidised cultural institutions have friends’ societies or private support systems. Especially in the Dutch museum sector, friends’ societies can play an important role. But this kind of support is also important in other sectors. About 250 000 people are, in one way or another, related to the many museums in the Netherlands.
Numbers on the amount of volunteers in the field of culture vary from 3 percent to 9 percent of Dutch citizens, depending on how culture and cultural activities are defined. There is a significant increase in the number of volunteers within the sectors of museums, libraries and performing arts. In the amateur arts sector, volunteers play an important role as well.
Crowdfunding, the practice of funding a project or artist by raising small amounts of money from a large group of people, mostly via the internet, is gaining ground in the Netherlands. Since the state budget cuts to culture were announced in 2011, a lot of artists and institutions have started using the crowdfunding model to (attempt to) finance their projects. In the Netherlands, with its wide range of digital crowdfunding platforms, the amount of money collected in this way has increased exponentially: from EU 0.5 million in 2010 to EUR 14 million in 2012 and EUR 329 million in 2018, of which EUR 13.1 million went to creative projects (with an average funding of EUR 13.061 per project).
Investments and loans
In 2006, the first general investment fund for culture was established by the Triodos Bank. Its Culture Fund had the character of an obligations fund: if the interest on the finance market rises, the exchange rate decreases. The Culture Fund was a semi-open-ended fund, meaning that the issuing of shares passes through a bank, and the purchasing of shares is possible via all the Dutch banks. In 2013, the fund volume of the Culture Fund was EUR 103.6 million. In 2018, Triodos announced that the Culture Fund will be dissolved.
The platform Culture+Entrepreneurship provides loans to artists, creatives and cultural institutions. For credits between EUR 10 000 and 50 000, Culture+Entrepreneurship cooperates with the Triodos Bank. The loan is intended for durable investments, like the financing of musical instruments or the renovation of a building or an atelier. For larger cultural institutions, it is also possible to request a larger credit from the Triodos Bank. In 2018, Culture+Entrepreneurship also launched the Gallery Loan which is a revolving fund providing gallerists (that very often face difficulties in getting loans at banks) the possibility to take a loan of up to EUR 40 000 with 3 percent interest.
 Smithuijsen, Cas and Lisa van Woersem. 2013. “Van draagvlak naar draagkracht.” Boekman 97: 86.
 Arends, J. and H. Schmeets. 2018. Vrijwilligerswerk: activiteiten, duur en motieven. The Hague: Statistics Netherlands; Bekkers, R., Th. Schuyt en B. Gouwenberg (eds.). 2017. Geven in Nederland 2017: huishoudens, nalatenschappen, fondsen, bedrijven, goede doelenloterijen en vrijwilligers. Amsterdam: Lenthe; Broek, A. van den and Y. Gieles. 2018. Het culturele leven: 10 culturele domeinen bezien vanuit 14 kernthema’s. Den Haag: SCP.